Wednesday, September 30, 2015

CD Review: New Music From Singer/Songwriters Ben Lovett, Casey Buckley, Pete Berwick, Adam Zwig and Buenos Diaz

American singer/songwriter/composer Ben Lovett has taken on a new project titled "Lovers & Friends." It is a four-disc set of EPs featuring a collection of collaborations with Lovett and other L.A.-based songwriters. The first of the four discs was released on September 18 and begins with the vintage sounding pop/rock groove of "Just Ain't Right." His first collaboration is with Only You lead singer Rachel Fannan on the uptempo, post-punk rocker "Temporary Stars." Former member of The Mowgli's, Michael Vincze lends a hand to "Follow The Sound," before Lovett closes the album with the smooth folk/rock melodies of "Came A Long Way," with lead vocals supplied by Sydney Wayser. To find out more about Ben Lovett's latest project "Lovers & Friends," please visit loversandfriendsmusic.com

New Jersey singer/songwriter Casey Buckley will be releasing his debut album, "Take The Good" on October 16th. He has performed alongside other great songwriters like Howie Day and Pat McGee and used that experience for his latest release. Beginning with "Take Me There," Casey's vocals are gentle and inviting as an acoustic guitar is all that supports his needs. The pop music feel of "The One To Lose" has success written all over it and before you know it, Casey's music finds it way to your soul with "Moment Of Silence." He gives a classic folk feel to "Lover Who May" as his delivery makes him seem like a seasoned artist. The warm tones of "Gravity Defying Tears" and "Still Confused" will leave you wanting more from this rising young star. To find out more about Casey Buckley and his new album "Take The Good," please visit caseybuckley.com.

Country songwriter Pete Berwick has been a staple on the road for over 35 years and has also managed to bang out five albums. His most recent was released back in July and tells "The Legend Of Tyler Doohan." The story revolves around some dark heroics, while Pete's songs sound like the second-coming of outlaw country music. Beginning with the title song, Pete Berwick pours all his emotions into this aggressively strumming acoustic country rocker. His voice is raw and genuine as he looks for a solution with "The Proof Is In The Whiskey," before picking up the tempo with the rockabilly/punk feel of "She's Too Wild For Me." He pours his country influences into the storied stomp of "Ain't Goin' Back To Memphis," then forces his experiences on you with the convincing "Let Your Heart Cry Out." The album finishes with the country/punk attitude of "See You In Hell" and the closer "Everything's Waiting." To find out the latest happenings with country artist Pete Berwick, please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/peteberwickband.

From Portland, OR comes a new live album from singer/songwriter Adam Zwig. Recorded at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, CA. It will released through Conscious Records this fall (date TBD) and features Zwig rocking out to ten originals and one cover song. The album begins with that cover song which happens to be Bob Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues." It is also the first single from the new album and it already reached #9 on the Adult Contemporary singles chart. As Zwig gets into his own compositions, you hear a relaxed, but energized tone to his vocals as he delivers the smooth rockers "Once A True Love" and "Stars Shooting." He mixes the tempos very well between the country twang of "Going Back to L.A." and the storied folk sweetness of "I Remember You." The album finishes with the sing-along chorus of "When All The World Was In Love" and the funk-groove of "Raising People" as Zwig does a masterful job drawing you into his message of a higher purpose. To find out more about Adam Zwig and his new album "Live At The Wiltern Theatre," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/AdamZwig.

From Texas comes the latest release from the Tex-Mex musical project Buenos Diaz entitled "Urbanized New Wave Texican." With a few failed attempts to get the album made, leader Nick Diaz finally found a way to make is all come together. The new seven-song EP begins with the short 90-second, Tarantino-like Western introduction "Mi Corazon Muerto," which leads into the Chino, blues rock of "The Chaka." Then things get little heavier with the guitar infused attack of "Concrete Hell" and "Love Instantly," before laying the groundwork for the storied lyrics of "Sophisticated Gentlemen." The EP closes with the adventurous build-up of "Faces," which shows the diversity Buenos Diaz puts into the performance. To find out more about the latest release from Buenos Diaz, please visit buenosdiazmusic.com.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

CD Review: Jazz Guitarist Larry Coryell Gets Boxed Up With Three New Live Releases

American jazz fusion guitarist Larry Coryell has had an amazing career that has lasted over 50 years. Beginning in New York City in 1965 as a member of Chico Hamilton's Quintet, Coryell honed his skills until he released his first solo album in 1968 ("Lady Coryell"). He has played alongside such jazz greats as Chic Corea and John McLaughlin and has released over 60 jazz albums. His latest release is a 3CD box set of unreleased live recordings made between 1972 to 2002, entitled "Aurora Coryellis."
 
The first disc is a live recording from The Jazz Worksop in Boston in 1972. The energy is ever-present as Coryell sounds more like a progressive rock musician, than a jazz guitarist. Coryell and his band put on an amazing display of jazz music with two 13-minute numbers ("Offering" and "Scotland Part One") bookending the complete 5-song, 42-minute performance.
 
The second disc is a little more intimate as Coryell performs acoustically at Clark University in Worcester, MA in 1976. The twelve track performance begins with the quietly exciting eight-minute "Julie La Belle," before Coryell amazes with his speed and skill with "Juju." Coryell does a masterful job keeping the musical notes enticing and wonderful to listen to this recording, which makes you feel like one of the audience on that special night. He puts a little scat singing in the bluesy jazz delivery of "Ain't It Is," before closing the night with nine-plus minute adventure of "St. Gallen" and the flamenco styling of "Spain."
 
The third disc brings Coryell back together with his band, performing at the 2002 San Jose Jazz Festival. He is joined in this performance by Jeff Chambers on bass and Paul Wertico on drums. His timeless delivery of "Trinkle Trinkle" starts things off on an energetic note as you can feel the fun that the musicians are having with one another. The up-tempo performance comes to a halt for the heartfelt rendition of "In A Sentimental Mood," but picks the pace back up with the nine-minute "Space Revisited Part One," before closing the show with an excerpt from "The Dragon Gate." The box set was released on September 4th through Purple Pyrimid. To find more about "Aurora Coryellis," please visit glassonyonpr.com.

Monday, September 28, 2015

CD Review: Columbia Records Introduces Darlene Love And Continues Country's Evolution With Home Free

American pop singer Darlene Love has had a very successful music career that has lasted over fifty years. She began her career as a member of the girl-group, The Blossoms, before working alongside such legends as Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Tom Jones and The Beach Boys. The 1962 single "He's A Rebel" propelled her into the spotlight, where she stayed as a solo artist. Love left the music scene for almost ten years, before a chance conversation with E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt helped with her comeback to music in the mid-1980's. Darlene Love was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Fast forward to 2015 and once again Steven Van Zandt is the driving force behind the resurgence of Darlene Love and her music. She recently released a new album, "Introducing Darlene Love" through Van Zandt's label Wicked Cool, in association with Columbia Records. It is her first album of new material in over 15 years, it was produced by Steven Van Zandt and is definitely one of the most anticipated albums of the fall schedule.
 
The new fourteen-song release features songs written by some of the greatest musical performers all-time, including Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Joan Jett and even a couple penned by Van Zandt. The album begins with one of those original Van Zandt songs, "Among The Believers." It showcases the power of Darlene Love as a lead-singer with an equally powerful supporting cast as the song has a Gospel-feel to it. Love reverts back to her glory days with the classic girl group appeal of "Forbidden Nights," while Springsteen's influence floods "Night Closing In" as Love fits in perfectly with the E Street Band sound. She sings the words of Van Zandt with heart and soul in "Last Time," before closing with the wonderfully addictive gospel spell of "Jesus Is The Rock (That Keeps Me Rollin')." Darlene Love's tour schedule is packed through the end of the year. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about her new album "Introducing Darlene Love," please visit darleneloveworld.com.
 
Rising country sensation Home Free recently released their third album in less than two years. The new release titled "Country Evolution" was available through Columbia Records on September 18th and it mixes together a handful of originals with some famous country covers. After winning NBC's "The Sing-Off: Season 4," there life has been a whirlwind of recording and performing. There debut album "Crazy Life" debuted in the "top 10" and their holiday album, "Full Of Cheer" was one of last year's best sellers of the season. They return with their sensational vocals, looking to capture more of that magic with "Country Evolution."
 
The new fourteen-song release begins with the original up-tempo, fun-filled "Summer In The Country." Their voices mesh together perfectly in "Good Ol' Country Harmony," before heading into their covers of Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" and the Oak Ridge Boys' "Elvira." The latter song also features some vocal help from the Oak Ridge Boys. Home Free pay tribute to one of the their favorite bands, Alabama with the "Alabama Sampler," then perform a spot on vocal version of the Eagles' "Seven Bridges Road." Country legend Charlie Daniels and You Tube sensation Taylor Davis lend a hand to energetic delivery of "The Devil Went Down To Georgia." The album finishes with a couple more original compositions, the pop feel of "California Country" and the short acapella glow of "Serenity." Home Free have a string of live dates the runs through the end of the year. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their new album "Country Evolution," please visit homefreemusic.com.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

CD Review: The Winery Dogs Are On A "Hot Streak" With Their Second Album

The power rock trio of Billy Sheehan, Richie Kotzen and Mike Portnoy were one of the biggest surprises in rock music in 2013. Their debut album, "The Winery Dogs," cracked the top 10 on five different music charts and their shows were one of the most sought after events of last year. The Winery Dogs return with the October 2nd release of the sophomore album "Hot Streak," which is exactly what this band is on.

With the uncertainty of how their debut release would win over fans, The Winery Dogs have settled nicely into their role as one of rock's newest bands saving the genre. The new thirteen-song album begins with the amazing bass work of Billy Sheehan on "Oblivion" with Portnoy's double-bass drum motoring the song. Kotzen's voice continues to keep sounding better as in "Captain Love," one of the album's strongest tracks. The boys get a little funky with their breakdown of "Hot Streak," before Kotzen opens up with an amazing guitar solo in "Empire." They take a detour from their hard rock assault with the piano ballad, "Fire," then come banging down the door with the pounding rhythm of "The Bridge." Sheehan gets to flex his fingers once again on "War Machine," before finishing the album with the arena rocker, "The Lamb."

The Winery Dogs are hitting the road beginning October 3rd at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Connecticut, before making their way west over the course of the next month. To find out more about their new album "Hot Streak," please visit thewinerydogs.com.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

CD Review: Kinky Friedman Returns To Discuss "The Loneliest Man I Ever Met"

One of the original outlaws of country music, Kinky Friedman is releasing his first album of new material in almost 40 years. He has had an amazing career, performing alongside Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Eric Clapton to name only a few. He is considered one of the greatest songwriters to come out of the state of Texas and at 70 years old, he shows no signs of slowing down with a 30-date U.S. following the October 2nd release of his new album "The Loneliest Man I Ever Met."

The new 12-song release begins with Willie Nelson lending a hand on the country acoustics of "Bloody Mary Morning." He takes on Tom Waits' "A Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis" with heart, then revives a 20 year old song, that he never recorded, "The Loneliest Man I Ever Met" with grace and regret in his vocals. His voice sounds timeless on the original "Lady Yesterday," before Friedman gives his rendition of Merle Haggard's "Hungry Eyes," Johnny Cash's "Pickin' Time" and Bob Dylan's "Girl From North Country." The album finishes with the American Songbook standards "Wand'rin Star" and "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" to which Kinky Friedman makes his own by importing his style into the songs.

For a complete list of tour dates and to find out more about Kinky Friendman's new album "The Loneliest Man I Ever Met," please visit his website at kinkyfriedman.com.

Friday, September 25, 2015

CD Review: Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra Records Gathers Three Great Shows For New Rainbow Live Box Set

The classic hard rock band Rainbow was formed in 1975 by former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and rising lead singer Ronnie James Dio. The mystical lyrics and extended guitar jams were the perfect match for hard rock success as the duo released three studio album and two live albums during their four years together. Dio would eventually leave to join Black Sabbath, which left Blackmore to find a new lead singer. English rock singer Graham Bonnet was just about to join British rockers Sweet, before Blackmore snatched him up for his latest line-up of Rainbow. The two years that Bonnet worked with Blackmore were the most successful for the band and they produced the album "Down To Earth," which spawned the Top 10 U.K. single "Since You Been Gone." Hot on the heels of the success of the album, Rainbow hit the road, headlining the inaugural "Monsters Of Rock" festival in 1980.
 
On August 21st, Cleopatra Records gathered together three shows from Rainbow's 1979 "Down To Earth Tour" for a new 3CD box set. The three shows featured in this set are from Denver, Long Island and Chicago. The setlist of the three shows is almost identical, but the performances of each show needs to be heard in their entirety, on their own. Blackmore's guitars are blazing during the solo of "Eyes Of The World," while Bonnet leads the charge of "Since You Been Gone." The drums of Cozy Powell and keyboard wizardry of Don Airey turn "Lost In Hollywood" into an epic masterpiece, especially with their 26-minute performance in Long Island. All three discs close with the quick attack of "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" as the band shines with a renewed sense of success.
 
Two of the shows (Denver and Long Island) will also be released on limited edition colored vinyl. In the 3CD set, each performance is packaged in its own individual CD mini-LP jacket with separate sleeves and they are housed with a 28-page color booklet in a gorgeous black velvet lined box with more great, era-appropriate extras including a metal bottle opener/key chain, embroidered fabric patch, 1” color button, and an autographed guitar pick. To find out more about "Rainbow - Down To Earth Tour 1979," please visit cleorecs.com

Thursday, September 24, 2015

CD Review: Victory Records Unleashes New Music From Conveyer And Neurotic November

A couple new releases from Victory Records that are making waves in the metal music scene are the latest from Conveyer and Neurotic November. Both bands have recently released what could be considered their greatest efforts yet. Beginning with Conveyer, we get latest album titled "When Given Time To Grow," from this Minnesota Christan metal band. Don't expect any soft hymns from this band, right from the opening track, "Shining," they are out to take you prisoner with their hardcore metal sound. The screams of "Haven"  and the punk-like speed of "Nothing" shows the dedication that Conveyer have in their cause of promoting the word of God into peoples lives. The quick, two-minute melody of "Cage" is an interesting mix of soft music and hardcore vocals, while "Ruined" is hard-hitting and exciting. The eleven-song album finishes with nu-metal groove of "Daughter" and the tempo changing delivery of "Impatience." To find out more about Conveyer and their latest album "When Given Time To Grow," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/CONVEYER.
 
Also recently released is the new album from Miami's nu-metal band Neurotic November. Available on September 18th, "Fighting Words" is the band's reaction to the lack of support they've been receiving from the underground metal scene. The new eleven-song release begins with the short, 60-second rapping "NNtro," which leads into the the electronic metal screams of "The Truth About You." They speed things up with the hardcore attack of "So Hollow," then return to the hip-hop metal clash of "Everglades." They finish up the album with the sprawling rap/growl vocals of "2004-Present" and the heavy metal/hip-hop mix of the confusing "Wasabi Anguish Pt. II." To find out more about Neurotic November and their latest release "Fighting Words," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/NeuroticNovember.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

CD Review: Metal Blade Records Ignites The Fire With New Music From Harlott, Grave Pleasures And Denner/Shermann

Metal Blade Records continues to crank out new albums every month from bands that deserve your attention. One of the recently released albums that is definitely worth checking out is the latest from hardcore thrash Australian metal band Harlott. Their new album "Proliferation" was released on September 18th and they are following that with a 34-date European tour. The new twelve-song album begins with the thunderous bashing of the title song, before heading into the adrenaline rush of "Denature," motored by the speed drumming of Tim Joyce. The intensity continues to build with the fast pace of "Systematic Reduction" and the quick-ripping guitar riffs of "Lord Of War." The musicianship shines on the epic feel of "Hellbent," before closing with the classic thrash metal feel of "Legion" and the reckless attack of "Means To An End." To find out more about Harlott and their new album "Proliferation," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/HarlottOfficial.
Next up is the new EP from former Merciful Fate band members Michael Denner and Hank Shermann. Their new album is titled "Satan's Tomb" and will be released on October 2nd. As you would have guessed, the album is heavy on guitars, while lead singer Sean Peck amazes with his vocal range. The new four-song album begins with the new five-piece band incorporating their classic Merciful Fate-style of metal into the opener "Satan's Tomb." The six-minute epic, "New Gods" and the progressive metal appeal of "Seven Skulls" shows that this band has the right chemistry to create some great new heavy metal music. To find out more about Denner/Shermann and the new album "Satan's Tomb," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/dennershermann.
Finally we get to the debut release from Swedish metal band Grave Pleasures entitled "Dreamcrash." With all the band members coming together from other underground metal acts, lead singer Mat McNerney has high hopes for this latest group. Having signed with Metal Blade Records in May of this year, Grave Pleasures wasted no time recording and releasing their album. The new eleven song release begins with "Utopian Scream" as the musicianship is amazing, while McNerney's vocals guide your way through. Grave Pleasures combine their influences of black metal with 90's hard rock and 80's new wave punk to create some refreshing sounds as with "New Hip Moon" and "Futureshock." The album finishes with post-punk appeal of "Girl In A Vortex" and The Cure-like feel of "No Survival." To find out more about Grave Pleasures and their new album "Dreamcrash," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/gravepleasvres.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music From Repulsive Dissection, All Hell, Bevar Sea and Insanity

As summer winds down, new heavy metal music from Repulsive Dissection, All Hell, Bevar Sea and Insanity are guaranteed to keep the heat on this autumn. First up is the U.K. death metal band Repulsive Dissection with their sophomore release "Church Of The Five Precious Wounds." The new eight-track release begins with the unbelievable speed of "Baptism (Nurtured In The Void)." As you try and realize what just happened, they come at you harder and faster with "Confirmation (The Future Of An Illusion)." The eeriness of the preacher at the beginning of "Ordination (Monument Of The Deceived)" is a momentary break, before the onslaught of "Missionary (Proselytic Strangulation)" and the evilness of the album closer "Apostasy (Ideological Dysphagia)." To find out more about the latest release from Repulsive Dissection, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/repulsivedissectionband.
 
Next up is the death metal band All Hell from North Carolina with their second album "The Red Sect." They hit the ground running with the fast pace of "Crossroads" and the growling vocals of "Mass Possession." The energy remains high with the thrash metal appeal of "Blood For The Baron" and "In My Command." The new ten-song album closes with adrenaline pumping, bashing rhythm of "Funeral Feast" and the more mainstream metal groove of "The Red Sect." To find out more about All Hell and their latest release, "The Red Sect," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/allhellband.
 
Coming at the end of October is the new album from Indian doom metal band Bevar Sea entitled "Invoke The Bizarre." The band have matured musically since their 2010 debut album as their sound still has that raw, garage metal feel. The new six song release has a more progressive tone as the vocals are heavy to reflect the changing tempos, as in the opener "Bearded And Bizarre." The slow, dragging rhythm of "Sleeping Pool" pushes the song past the ten-minute mark, while they save their best for last with the intriguing, classic metal sound of the nearly twelve minute adventure of "Grand Alignment." To find out more about Bevar Sea and their latest release "Invoke The Bizarre," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/bevarsea.
 
Finally we get the the mid-November release from Insanity titled "Visions Of Apocalypse." It is the band's first album since their 1994 debut and right from the opening blast of "Sacrefixion," Insanity returns to remind us of how it's done. Their new nine-song release continues with the energy of "When" and the heavy metal guitar riffs of "Sociopath." The growling vocals of "Disillusioned" is a great balance to the strength of the musicianship within the band. The album finishes with the classic hardcore thrash metal appeal of "Blind" and the eight-minute stunning work of the "Visions Of Apocalypse." To find out more about Insanity and their soon-to-be-released "Visions Of Apocalypse," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com.

Monday, September 21, 2015

CD Review: Songstresses Cindy Alexander, Leeann Atherton And Kara Kesselring Put Their Hearts In Their Music

From L.A. comes the latest EP from award-winning, singer/songwriter Cindy Alexander entitled "An American Girl." It will be released on October 9th through Blue Elan Records, with a tour to soon follow. Cindy has won numerous independent songwriting awards, but her most recent is for L.A. Music Critics' Comeback Artist of the Year after overcoming her battle with breast cancer. Cindy has also worked alongside such great artists as Sarah McLachlan, Aimee Mann and Norah Jones. Her new eight-song release features four original songs, a cover of Tom Petty's "American Girl" and three acoustic versions of her originals. Beginning with "Play," she invites you to have a good time, while her vocals in "Monarch" instantly wrap you up with her warm country/folk delivery. Her music soars during "Burdens And Bones," before showing us a different side to the Tom Petty lyrics of "American Girl." The album closes with the more intimate acoustic delivery of her songs "Play," "Monarch" and "See You In L.A." To find out more about Cindy Alexander and her latest release "An American Girl," please visit cindyalexander.com.

Texas singer/songwriter Leeann Atherton will be releasing her new album "Barefoot Fields" in late October. It features a dozen countrified folk numbers that showcases Leeann's wonderful songwriting and emotional rendition of a few cover songs. Beginning with the acoustic country swing of "Add It Up" and the Melissa Etheridge feel of "Mustard Seed," Leeann has no problem getting the listener involved in her music. She adds a touch of folk storytelling in "Robby & Mona," then takes on Donovan's 1965 classic "Catch The Wind" with gentle grace. The quicker pace of "Love's Creation" is a breath of excitement as you wish there was more bursts of energy on this album. Leeann adds a warm comfort to the words of Tom Waits with her delivery of "On The Nickel," before closing with the lullaby poetry of "Where The Wildflowers Bloom." To find out more about Leeann Atherton and her new album "Barefoot Fields," please visit leeannatherton.com.

From Chicago comes the debut album from singer/songwriter Kara Kesselring and her band Sugarcreek Road. It's titled "Hurry Up And Relax," which is exactly what Kara planning for you to do as you listen to her wonderfully classic sounding music. The new twelve-song release begins with the uptempo country stomp of "Speeding For Jesus," then moves along to the bluesy waltz of "Belle Of The Ball." Kara's voice shines on "Blue Hat" and the dixieland jazz appeal of "Crush" begins to give the listener that "relaxed" feeling of the album title. The gentle acoustic folk/pop of "I'd Do It For You" makes you feel good, while "Rise Up" is an uplifting soul/gospel number. Kara and her band add some more blues to the slow-swing of "Trouble," before closing the album with a gentle "Iris Lullaby." To find out more about Kara Kesselring and Sugarcreek Road and their new album "Hurry Up And Relax," please visit sugarcreekroad.com.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Gathers Dr. John's Best ATCO And Atlantic Singles

American jazz singer/songwriter/pianist/guitarist Mac Rebennack began the path of his music career when he was 16, but it wasn't until he changed his name to Dr. John that history was made. The famous jazz musician has made over 30 albums and has become one of the most iconic artists of the New Orleans music scene. He is also a Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and has worked alongside practically every modern music in rock, blues and jazz music. His radio hits came early in his career, so Omnivore Recordings gathered his singles between 1968-1974 for a new compilation entitled "The ATCO/Atlantic Singles."

The new 22-track album features the well-known numbers like "Iko, Iko," "Wang Dang Doodle" and of course "Right Place Wrong Time." The purpose of this release is to re-discover some of his lesser known hits, like Dr. John's view of democracy in "The Patriotic Flag Wave" and mystical delivery of "Loop Garoo." Also featured on this compilation is the blues funk of "A Man Of Manny Words" that features Buddy Guy on vocals and Eric Clapton on guitar. The last nine tracks on this release features another New Orleans great, Allen Toussaint as producer and conductor of the seventies sounding funk of "I Been Hoodood" and the lounge-like blues of "Me-You=Loneliness." To find out more about this great new Dr. John compilation, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

CD Review: Holly Golightly Invites The Brokeoffs Back For "Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda"

British rock/R&B singer Holly Golighty is having one hellva year. Just months ago, she released her new solo album "Slowtown Now!" and on October 16th, Holly Golighty and the Brokeoffs will release their ninth album entitled "Coulda Shoulda Woulda" through Transdreamer Records. They are following the release of their new album with a thirteen-date U.S. tour which begins on October 24th in Belmar, NJ.

The new twelve-song release begins with the rockabilly shuffle of "Heaven Buy And Buy" as Holly sounds as if she has a chip on her shoulder with her delivery of some fierce vocals. The slinky blues of "Apartment 34" and the spaghetti western feel of "Coulda Shoulda Woulda" shows that the Brokeoffs are ready for any adventure that Holly wants to take them on. They work in the slow waltz of "Jackhammer" and the classic country sound of "Marijuana, The Devil's Flower" to showcase their many different genres. Holly's partner Lawyer Dave takes the lead on the up-tempo dance number "Karate," before closing the album with the countrified anti-holiday song "Christmas Is A Lie." To find out more about the latest release from Holly Golightly and the Brookeoffs, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/hollygolightlyandthebrokeoffs.

Friday, September 18, 2015

CD Review: Ugly Kid Joe Return A Bit "Uglier" But Wiser With New Album

American rock band Ugly Kid Joe blasted onto the music scene in the early nineties with their debut album "America's Least Wanted." It spawned two hit singles ("Everything About You" and "Cats In The Cradle") and reached double-platinum status in just three years. Their two follow-up albums failed to capture that magic of the first album and the band disbanded in 1997.
 
Ugly Kid Joe would reunite in 2010 for a summer tour and to record some new tracks in the studio. With a new EP under their belt, Ugly Kid Joe found a new popularity, opening for bands like Guns N Roses, Skid Row and for festivals all over Europe. They began a pledgemusic.com campaign to fund a new studio album and on September 18th, after almost 20 years, Ugly Kid Joe will be releasing their new album "Uglier Than They Used Ta Be."
 
The new eleven-song release begins with "Hell Ain't Hard To Find" which has a little bit of that classic Ugly Kid Joe sound, along with a great, energetic modern rock vibe. The only thing missing is their brand of humor that they are known for incorporating into their songs. The band gets a nice hard rock groove spinning on "Let The Record Play" and hit the speakers hard with the metal appeal of "Bad Seed." They slow the tempo down for the fragile, acoustic delivery of "Nothing Ever Changes," then come roaring back with the AC/DC like guitar riffs of "My Old Man." The album finishes with a couple of cover songs, Motorhead's "Ace Of Spades" features guitarist Phil Campbell on the hectic, fast-paced speed number and "Papa Was A Rolling Stone," featuring Austrian singer Dallas Frasca on this big epic close to the album.
 
Ugly Kid Joe are spending the remainder of the month on the road in U.K. To find out more about their new album "Uglier Than They Used Ta Be," please visit their website at uglykidjoe.net.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

CD Review: The Eagles Of Death Metal Are Caught With Their "Zipper Down"

The California rock band Eagles Of Death Metal have returned after a seven year hiatus to release their new album "Zipper Down" through Downtown Recordings in association with the Universal Music Group. The duo of Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age) and Jesse Hughes have once again combined their efforts to create some refreshing new rock music that will make you dance as well as bang your head.
 
The new eleven song release begins with the album's lead-single "Complexity," which has Homme bashing away on the drums, while Hughes sings about keeping it easy, as the duo happen to do with this straight-up rocker. They incorporate some comedy into the lyrics of the highly contagious rhythm-led "Silverlake (K.S.O.F.M.)," while "Got A Woman" is a seventies-type punk blast. The Eagles Of Death Metal get a little funky with "Oh Girl" and get their groove going for a little "Skin Tight Boogie." The album finishes with a dark goth-like cover of Duran Duran's "Save A Prayer" and the modern rock flair of "The Reverend."
 
Eagles Of Death Metal just wrapped up the first leg of their U.S. tour and will be hitting the west coast with string of shows in October, before heading to Europe in November. To find out more about their latest release "Zipper Down," please visit eaglesofdeathmetal.com.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Concert Review: Anthrax And Motorhead Join Forces At The Dome Of The Oakdale Theatre

The small town of Wallingford, CT became the mecca of heavy metal music Tuesday night when thrash metal legends Anthrax shared the stage with the immortal Lemmy and Motorhead. The Dome at the Toyota presents the Oakdale Theatre was the ideal setting for this adrenaline fueled evening of fast, loud, high energy and high volume music.
 
The night's festivities began a half hour before the advertised start time with a short, thirty-minute set from the Pennsylvania metal band Crobot. Lead singer, Brandon Yeagley kept the crowd involved as they performed about half-a-dozen songs from their 2014 debut album "Something Supernatural."
 
After a 30-minute set change, the audience was still filing in to the "standing room only" club-like Dome at the Oakdale Theatre. As the lights went out, an evil red glow shone from the back of the stage, then New York thrash metal band Anthrax overtook the audience with their brand of energy and style. Lead singer Joey Belladonna was in complete control of the crowd, whether it was to sing along to the chorus of "Madhouse" or fist pump shouts of "no more" during the intense "Fight'em Til You Can't." Guitarist Scott Ian's introduction to "Caught In A Mosh," signaled the beginning of the night's first movement, as a "mosh pit" opened up in the middle of audience. Anthrax paid homage to their fallen idol Ronnie James Dio with a spot on cover of Black Sabbath's "Neon Knights," before closing their fifty-minute set with high octane drumming of Charlie Benante in support of "Indians."
 
As Motorhead took the stage at ten o'clock, cameras and phones came out of everywhere to capture images of the heavy metal legend Lemmy on what could be his last visit to Connecticut. Earlier in the month, Lemmy had a health scare when he had to end a couple of Motorhead shows early and postpone the tour due to a lung infection. He seemed in high spirits this night as he received a roaring applause following the band's opener "No Class." You felt the drumming of Mikkey Dee pounding your chest during "Stay Clean" and "Doctor Rock" as the energy within The Dome grew during "Over The Top." Lemmy stood stoic behind his microphone, while guitarist Phil Campbell covered the stage, performing his quick solos during "Lost Woman Blues" and "Bomber." The crowd erupted during the insanely fast delivery of "Ace Of Spades" as crowd surfing and mosh pits took up most of the real estate in front of the stage.
 
A quick break brought the boys back out to close their seventy-plus minute set with the speed and intensity of "Overkill." Although Lemmy may not be in his prime anymore, he still demanded your attention with his presence and professional performance. If the night taught us anything, it is that Lemmy will be forever young in the eyes of his fans.

Anthrax Setlist: Madhouse, Caught In A Mosh, Got The Time, Antisocial, Fight'em Til You Can't, Medusa, Neon Knights, In The End, Indians

Motorhead Setlist: No Class, Stay Clean, Metropolis, Over The Top, The Chase Is Better Than Catch, Rock It, Lost Woman Blues, Doctor Rock, Just 'Cos You Got The Power, Bomber, Ace Of Spades, Overkill

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

CD Review: The Lizards Return With "Reptilicus Maximus" And Carmine Appice Helps Dean Parrish Rediscover His "Norhern Soul"

Classic rock supergroup The Lizards recently released their seventh studio album entitled "Reptilicus Maximus" through Carmine Appice's record label, Rocker Records. The mainstay of the group consists of drummer Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow/Black Sabbath), vocalist/keyboardist Mike DiMeo (Riot/Masterplan), bassist Randy Pratt (Cactus) and guitarist Patrick Klein, who recorded and mixed the new album. A few guests also appear on the new album, Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Frank Marino (Mahogany Rush) and Vinnie Moore (UFO).
 
The new eleven-song release begins the classic seventies hard rock groove of "Ton On The One," which features the guitar work of The Lizards touring buddy, David Lanik. The bluesy guitar shuffle of "Evil Eyes" is led by guest Frank Marino, while DiMeo's vocals continue to feel strong and authentic. Guitarist Vinnie Moore shreds his way through the nearly six-minute "Crash," before The Lizards slither their way through "Crawling King Snake" as Rondinelli's drums and DiMeo's vocals take charge of the song. The Lizards invoke some of their past with the epic delivery of "Pray For Peace," before closing the album with a another guest, Glenn Hughes on vocals along with DiMeo on the Hughes penned "Miracle Man" that has a slow, simmering feel just waiting for the right moment to bring their energy to the chorus. To find out more about The Lizards and their latest release "Reptilicus Maximus," please visit lizardswebsite.com.
 
Also arriving on Carmine Appice's Rockers Records label is the latest EP entitled "Northern Soul - I'm On My Way" from the legendary Dean Parrish featuring Carmine Appice on drums. Parrish has worked alongside everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Bob Marley to The Ronettes and has become an iconic figure in the Northern Soul scene that was happening in England around the mid- to late-sixties. Parrish's song "I'm On My Way" became a hit in 1975 (eight years after it's initial release) due to the popularity of the song being played at the Wigan Casino (a nightclub in England).
 
Fast forward to the year 2000 and Appice and Parrish met up in a studio to record some new versions of Parrish's song along with R&B standards for a new album. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of "I'm On My Way" becoming a hit single, the new digital only release features three new versions of the hit song along with the R&B/funk groove of "Love's Whatcha Cooking," which features the great classic sound of Parrish's soul-style vocals. Their version of "Fever" is like a flashback to the classic soul of the sixties as this is a modern match made in heaven for Parrish and Appice. To find out more about their new release "Northern Soul - I'm On My Way," please visit glassonyonpr.com.

Monday, September 14, 2015

CD Review: Chris Cornell Revisits "Euphoria Mourning" On His Way To A "Higher Truth"

Two years after the Seattle rock band Soundgarden disbanded, lead singer Chris Cornell went on to release his debut solo album "Euphoria Morning." Most of the material for that album was developed following the end of Soundgarden, with one song, "Flutter Girl" being an outtake from the "Superunkown" album sessions. Since the release of that album, Cornell has lead the hard rock supergroup Audioslave to three "top 10" albums, released two more solo albums and reformed Soundgarden. He also has a new, mostly acoustic solo album arriving on September 18th, titled "Higher Truth" and there has been news of Soundgarden entering the studio to record a new album, which is buzzing all over the internet.
 
When Cornell's debut solo album was originally released in 1999 it went out to the pubic with the "safer" title of "Euphoria Morning." In August, Universal Music Enterprise decided to re-release the album with it's intended title of "Euphoria Mourning" and also remaster the album in the process. So, this newly released version of Chris Cornell's solo debut album has a cleaner sound and was also released on vinyl for the first time. The feel of the album has a more polished mainstream pop/rock sound than what his band Soundgarden would produce, but fans will also discover his exceptional songwriting. He lets his emotions fly on "Preaching The End Of The World" and still shows reflections of his old band with the hard rocking "Mission." The album is filled with many different feelings and tempos that is a blessing and curse. Cornell poured all of his desires into this solo album, which may have confused fans on which direction his music was heading.
 
Nowadays, Chris Cornell is in a great place musically. He has helped put Soundgarden back on the map as one of the top touring acts in the world and he still has an outlet to release his solo work as early predictions of the new album, "Higher Ground" have been positive. To find out more about the latest happenings with Chris Cornell, please visit chriscornell.com.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

CD Review: Singer/Songwriter Marshall Crenshaw Gathers His EPs For A New Collection

American singer/songwriter Marshall Crenshaw has had a very successful career, which has lasted over thirty years. His first two solo albums cracked the top 100 on the Billboard album charts in the early 80's and his songs have been covered by the likes of Ronnie Spector, the Gin Blossoms and America to name a few. His latest release gathers his 10" vinyl EP releases between 2013 to 2015 and collected those songs on CD for the first time. The new compilation entitled "#392: The EP Collection" was released on August 21st through Red River Entertainment.

The first six songs of this album are originals, while the next six are cover songs and also two previously unreleased tunes are added on as bonus tracks. It begins with his most recent composition "Grab The Next Train" as Crenshaw lays low on this easily flowing storied tune. The mellowness of the music of "Driving And Dreaming" becomes the backdrop for the wonderfully interesting lyrics. He picks up the tempo, slightly with "I Don't See You Laughing Now" as his music will not overpower you, but you will get lost in his vocals and lyrics. The cover songs range from the airiness of The Move's "No Time" to the gentle acoustics of The Loving Spoonful's "Didn't Want Have To Do It." His version of "(They Long To Be) Close To You" makes you wonder if the song was written for him as he follows the blueprint laid down by The Carpenters. The two bonus songs features a live version of The Everly Brothers' "Man With Money" and a demo version of "Front Page News" which Crenshaw wrote back in the 90's with Leroy Preston.

To find out more about Marshall Crenshaw and his latest release "#392: The EP Collection," please visit his website at marshallcrenshaw.com.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

CD Review: Tommy Keene Returns With New Studio Album "Laugh In The Dark"

American singer/songwriter Tommy Keene found critical acclaim in the 80's with a string of new wave/pop albums and again in 2013 with his covers record entitled "Excitement At Your Feet." He just released his 12th full-length studio album "Laugh In The Dark" on September 4th through Second Motion Records. The last six years have been very fruitful for Keene, producing four albums in six years as this most recent album could be considered one of his best.

Beginning with the up-tempo rocker "Out Of My Mind," Keene shows no signs of slowing down as he incorporates some of that new wave punk sound into his latest project. He rips off some big guitars riffs with the "Last Of The Twilight Girls" as Keene sounds like he is in his late-twenties instead of his late-fifties. His knack for writing pop hooks is present in "All The Lights Are Alive" and "I Belong To You," before the nineties, alternative vibe comes shining through "Alone In These Modern Times." The album finishes with the southern blues feel of "Go Back Home" and the grand, psychedelic experiment of "All Gone Away." To find out more about Tommy Keene and his latest release "Laugh In The Dark," please visit his website at tommykeene.com.

Friday, September 11, 2015

CD Review: eOne Music Is Preparing To Unleash New Metal Music From TesseracT, Reflections And Fit For An Autopsy

As Autumn approaches, eOne Music are still applying the heat with a trio of new hard rock/heavy metal releases, beginning with the latest release from prog-metal band TesseracT. There new album entitled "Polaris" will be released on September 18th and showcases the band's continued growth in their songwriting and performance. The new nine song release begins with "Dystopia," a 7-minute journey of energetic grooves and epic vocals that shows this band is about structure and discipline with their music. The music builds from a piano ballad to a aggressive close in "Hexes," while "Survival" has the mainstream radio rock sound that is sure to draw in new fans. The mixed tempos on "Utopia" keep you guessing on the direction of the song, while "Messenger" is a hard rock, rhythm attack that motors through the quick, 3-minute song. The album finishes with the slow build-up of "Seven Names" to close on a high note. To find out more about TesseracT and their new album "Polaris," please visit their website at tesseractband.co.uk.
 
Also arriving on September 18th is the latest album from Reflections entitled "The Color Clear." The music reflects singer Jake Wolfe's 18 months of hell as he battled addiction, the loss of a close friend and the destruction of his home from fire. Beginning with "Pseudo," the intensity builds with quick double-bass drums that are firing on all cylinders. The screaming vocals of "Sadist" and "Limbo" showcases an intensity in the band's delivery. They showcase their hardcore metal appeal with the quick-hitting "Butterfly Effect," before expanding into the deep metal groove of "Actias Luna." The album finishes with the experimental power of "Transparence" as the band's power is felt through the slow pace of the song. To find out more about Reflections and their latest album "The Color Clear," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/reflectionsmn.
 
Finally we get to the latest album from Fit For An Autopsy entitled "Absolute Hope, Absolute Hell," which will not be released until October 2nd. The band took a different approach to this album by removing "blast beats and breakdowns" and adding more depth to their music. The new 11-song album begins with that exact concept, as the album's title song mixes tempos, but keeps the intensity. Fit For An Autopsy revert back to their hardcore, death metal sound in "Saltwound," while "Storm Drains" displays some great guitar work. The gentle build-up of "Out To Sea" is a nice break from the speed, before closing with the powerfully epic delivery of "Swing The Axe." To find out more about Fit For An Autopsy and their new album "Absolute Hope, Absolute Hell," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/FitForAnAutopsyOfficial.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

CD Review: Heavy Metal Band P.O.D. Look To Reclaim Their Glory With "The Awakening"

After a two year hiatus, Christian metal band P.O.D. (Payable On Death) have returned strong to release their tenth studio album entitled "The Awakening" on August 21st through T-Boy Records in association with Universal Music Enterprise. It debuted at #75 on the Billboard Albums chart and #3 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart. It is considered a grand concept album running along the same lines as Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and Queensryche's "Operation: Mindcrime," living with the decisions one makes in everyday life and dealing with the mistakes they make.
 
The new ten-song release begins with what sounds like tragic new clips, which leads into the hard rock chorus of "Am I Awake" as the heavy metal guitar sounds and thunderous drumming begin to take over. The energy picks up with the shout out loud lyrics of the album's lead single "This Goes Out To You," before slowing down the tempo for "Criminal Conversations," which features a guest appearance from vocalist Maria Brink ( from In This Moment). The Nu-Metal appeal of "Somebody's Trying To Kill Me" feels a little dated, but the energy of "Get Down" and "Speed Demon" pick the intensity back up. While the idea of a concept album benefits from listening from beginning to end, there are certain tracks that can definitely stand strong on their own.
 
P.O.D. have begun a two-month tour that will see them share the stage with Insane Clown Posse in October. To find out more about their new album "The Awakening," please visit payableondeath.com.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

CD Review: Discover New Music From Indie-Rock Bands The Floating Bridges And The Century Thief

From the shores of Queensland, Australia comes the latest release from reggae/funk rockers The Floating Bridges entitled "Creatures Of Leisure." The inspiration is plastered all over this new release as Bob Marley-type grooves and Red Hot Chili Peppers' attitude are the basis for many of tracks on this new album. The rock quintet begins with the RHCP blueprint of "Breathe" as The Floating Bridges draw you in with the up-beat funk/rock that will bring you to your feet with its rhythm. They add a heavier rock vibe to the reggae underlining of "Dreamcatcher" and "Get It On," before the originality of "Eloquence" shows that The Floating Bridges have more to offer. They close the album with a return to the island vibe of "Ball Of Fire" and the exciting up-tempo rocker "Home." The Floating Bridges just wrapped up their summer U.K. tour and will be heading home for a festival appearance at the Mitchell Creak Rock N Blues Fest. To find out more about there latest release "Creatures Of Leisure," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/thefloatingbridges.
 
Canadian indie-folk/rock band The Century Thief will be releasing their full-length debut album "Reverie" on September 10th. The focus of the songs, according to the band, deals with "the boredom and comfort of unhealthy situations, poisonous loves, cruel social structures, doubt and dead end routines." The new thirteen song release begins with the gentle build up of "Time Goes," a lovely mixture of Americana, roots and folk pop music that easily draws you in to their sound. They kick the tempo up with the horns of "Stick Stone" and lend a country hand to "Memo" as The Century Thief show a little diversity in their music. They incorporate a New Orleans jazz flair in "Centre Street" as the band's sound continues to grow with the infectious rhythm of "House On Fire." To find out more about The Century Thief and their new album "Reverie," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/centurythiefmusic.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

CD Review: New Jazz Music Arriving From Karrin Allyson And From Rick & The All-Stars

Jazz singer/pianist Karrin Allyson is preparing to release her latest album of cover songs entitled "Many A New Day: Karrin Allyson Sings Rogers & Hammerstein." It will be available on September 18th through the Motema record label. Karrin's last four albums have received Grammy nominations and this one will definitely keep the trend going. The new fourteen song release begins with the iconic "Oklahoma!" musical number "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning" as Karrin adds a New Orleans jazz-swing to the original tune. She sticks with the musical "Oklahoma! for 4 of the first sing songs as the tunes are highlighted by the wonderful piano of Kenny Barron and John Patitucci's bass. Karrin brings up the energy with "Happy Talk" from the musical "South Pacific," before slowing down for the sultry delivery of "I Can't Say No," once again from "Oklahoma!" Karrin  then turns her attention to "The King And I" with the loveliness of "When I Think Of Tom/Hello Young Lovers" and "We Kiss In A Shadow." The album closes as Karrin takes on her hardest task with ease as she looks to "The Sound Of Music" for her jazzy versions of the Julie Andrews' song "Something Good" and the delicate waltz of "Edelweiss." To find out more about Karrin Allyson and her latest release "Many A New Day," please visit her website at karrin.com.

New Jersey jazz guitarist Rick Pressler has been involved in music since he was seven years old and his grandfather was his guitar mentor. He has dedicated 35 years to the industry, performing at CBGB's in New York to Madame Wong's in Los Angeles and everywhere in-between. His latest release "The Invisible Session" includes a collaboration with the Stone Hill All-Stars from Baltimore, MD. The new eight song release begins with "Shock Arrives In America" as The All-Stars deliver a traditional, classic jazz sound. The quick pace of "Naiman Bays At The Moon" gets things moving, before Rick And The All-Stars gets the stretch their talents on "Margolis Shakes Off The Hand Cramp." The Stone Hill All-Stars' bassist/guitarist Paul Margolis takes the lead on the bluesy, feel of "Pick Up One Thing From The Floor," while Rick looks to close the album with the avant-garde jazz of "Rick Made Us March A Million Miles In Alien Suits." To find out more about Rick And The All-Stars latest release "The Invisible Session," please visit facebook.com/stonehillallstars.

Monday, September 7, 2015

CD Review: Dave Davies Revisits Kinks Hits And Solo Songs In New York City

Over fifty years ago, a British rock band was started by two brothers that became one of the early influences of heavy metal and punk music. That band was The Kinks and guitarist Dave Davies was one of the early creators of the raw, garage rock guitar sound that has become the livelihood for many of today's rock bands. In 2004, Davies suffered a stroke that temporally paralyzed the right side of his body. He had to re-teach himself how to play guitar and has since come roaring back with three new studio album, including last year's "Rippin' Up Time."

While rumors swirled about the possibility of a 50th anniversary Kinks reunion, nothing has be announced, so in the meantime, Davies recently released a live album entitled "Rippin' Up New York City: Live At The City Winery." It was recorded in November of 2014 and features songs from Davies' solo career as well as some Kinks songs that he helped define a generation.

The album begins with the roaring guitar instrumental "Rippin' Up Time," which leads into a couple of Kinks' classics "I'm Not Like Everyone Else" and "I Need You." His renditions have a very raw feel in this live setting, which only adds to the experience as he pushes "See My Friends" to the seven-minute mark with an extended guitar solo. He puts his heart into the soft delivery of "Strangers," before his high energy performance of the two new originals "Front Room" and "King Of Karaoke." The album closes with a string of the Kinks' most well-known songs, including the timeless "All Day And All Of The Night" and "You Really Got Me."

Dave Davies will be one of the mainstay acts at this year's Big E festival in October, that will kick off a string of U.S. dates that runs through the rest of the month. To find out more about Dave Davies new live album, "Rippin Up New York City," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/davedaviesofficial.